Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (70-81)
2 6 1
Chicago Cubs (82-68)
8 10 0
W: Mills (1-0) L: Gausman (3-9)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Kevin Gausman-as-a-Reds-starter era got off to a rocky start tonight after allowing two singles and a Kyle Schwarber (Middletown alert) home run to put the good guys in an early 3-0 hole. He got a 1-2-3 inning in the 2nd against the bottom of the lineup and that was that. Gausman has been pretty good from the Cincinnati bullpen in 11 games, but tonight was not his best work.

Somewhat surprisingly, Cole Hamels was even worse tonight as he allowed five walks and a hit batter in 3.1 innings. The Reds were able to put two runs up, but they definitely missed a lot of opportunities. The first inning ended after an Aquino flyout and Casali strikeout with two runners on, and the third inning ended on a Michael Lorenzen strikeout with bases loaded, a Curt Casali walk producing the only run. It was the first time Hamels allowed a bases loaded walk since 2016. The Reds second run came in the fourth inning on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Phillip Ervin. Eugenio Suarez struck out to end the inning.

After Lucas Sims threw two scoreless innings and Matt Bowman produced a scoreless fifth, Amir Garrett faced three batters and allowed a single, HBP and double. Joel Kuhnel relieved him and allowed another run on a single by Ben Zobrist, pushing the score to 5-2 (both runs credited to Garrett). Rubin Alaniz came on in the seventh and pitched well. He struck out Bryant, got Schwarber to ground out and then struck out Contreras. The eighth didn’t go as well, as he allowed a walk and a single and then hurt himself with a throwing error that scored a run. Jimmy Herget came on and gave up a walk to Lucroy and a double to Castellanos (his league leading 55th of the season) to extend to the lead to 8-2. That would be the final score.

Other game notes:

Alex Blandino hit the ball well tonight. He got unlucky in the 1st as Jason Heyward made a nice catch in centerfield on a 104.6 mph, 386 foot line drive. He also had a single that was hit at 107.3 mph.

The Reds showed good patience early against Hamels who clearly did not have it. It was only the 8th game of the year with seven or more team walks.

Aristedes Aquino has really cooled off and left some key runners on base. He is down to a 121 wRC+ on the year.

Jose Peraza was the only Reds player to collect multiple hits. He was also thrown out stealing.

The Cardinals and Brewers both won tonight as well so no games won or lost in the NL Central. The Cubs remain 2 games back and the Brewers 3 games back. With Washington losing to St. Louis, the two NL Wild Card spots are separated by just 1.5 games among three teams (Nationals, Cubs, Brewers).

15 Responses

  1. Doug Gray

    “Free agent pitchers aren’t going to choose the Reds”

    While we don’t know what they’ve offered guys, the Reds largest free agent contract ever was less than $50M. And it was over a decade ago. Their second largest one ever? $24.5M to Eric Milton 15 years ago.

    Maybe it’s not the pitchers not choosing Cincinnati. Maybe it’s the owners not choosing to spend money in free agency.

    • george

      It may be that Free agent players have told their agents that if the Reds come calling just quote them a very large number. I would think that most agents know that the Reds don’t do free agency as a rule so the bigger the number the less interest the Reds will have. I would think that agents are all aware of the Reds financial approach and also realize that if their player would get a large salary from the Reds that he better to be ready as a hitter to have a .340ba, 115 rbi, and a +.725OPS. and as a pitcher to win 17-20 games, pitch +200 innings, with at least an 2.95era, and will not have any other strong pitchers on the staff with a .500 record, so wining the Series would be out of the question.
      Bad season, too many hard losses, and no future in sight. I am done in.

      • Doug Gray

        If this is the case and it means you aren’t even going to try the Reds should just fold up shop.

  2. RedNat

    Blandino is starting to grow on me a little bit. Can her play SS? He looks like he has the athleticism to play the position.

  3. RedNat

    I would rather have seen Gray tonight In the opener versus the cubs and Castillo pitching game 3 of the series. I have a feeling the FO did this for a reason although I haven’t figure it out yet. just kind of fishy that Gausman only pitched 2 innings. maybe they want to Give Castillo one more home game?

  4. TR

    I agree with Doug in regard to free agents considering and coming to Cincinnati. It’s a question of money. I think many ballplayers like playing and living in Cincy and the metro area. I’d call it one of the premiere big/small towns of America.

  5. SultanofSwaff

    I’m wondering the same thing.

  6. Still a Red

    Did I miss something. Where was Joey last night? Why replace Josh Van Meter after one at bat and replace him with Dietrich? Why pitch Gausman only two innings, once through the line-up? Of course, the Reds are hobbling right now.

    Could really have used a Suarez grand slam in the 4th. He was brushed back 3 pitches in a row, one up by his chin, and the Cubs came back with a curve thrown at him, breaking over the middle, froze him. Aggressive pitching by the Cubs.

    • Chris Holbert

      If they walk Suarez, no one else rally scares them.

    • Big Ed

      Votto was ill, according to the telecast. Sounds like a stomach bug has bounced through the team.

    • Matt WI

      What’s so weird? I don’t know his situation- but maybe a parent had a heart attack, a spouse is pregnant and having problems. Car accidents. Things happen.

    • Doug Gray

      Jeeze, Pete, seriously? Not everything is some vast conspiracy theory man.

      From Josh VanMeter’s agent just now:
      “Josh and his family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by the Reds community in light of last night’s events. His longtime girlfriend’s father, who was in attendance at the game at Wrigley field, suffered a substantial seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Josh and the Reds were advised of the situation by Cubs game personnel. Continued thoughts and prayers are sincerely appreciated.”

  7. Chris Holbert

    I am a Lorenzen guy, and like his dual status. However, he has regressed since college with hitting, because of concentrating on pitching, but is still an above average hitting pitcher. Starting him in CF, has provided steady defense and nothing else. Even with O’Grady being LH, I would venture to say he would have been on base, during the last three games. The Reds need to decide if he is going to pitch or hit. He cannot do either well enough without concentrating on one.

  8. Big Ed

    Gausman threw the pitch on which Schwarber homered exactly at the target Casali gave him. I noticed it at the time, because he had just hit the exact target on a previous pitch. Gausman threw it, so it’s his fault that it was in the center of the plate, but Casali’s target didn’t help much.

    He did not have the velocity he had shown in his prior Reds appearances. He didn’t hit 93 mph on any of his 8 fastballs prior to Schwarber, then threw 93.8, 94, 94.5, a splitter, and then a straight-looking 95 on the homer. Maybe he was a tad hyped up for his start, or maybe it was just an off day, or maybe he was holding back in anticipation of throwing maybe 4-5 innings. He did retire the final 5 guys that he faced.

    The Reds aren’t going to judge him on the one pitch to Schwarber.